Information Services

Guidance for Accessible Remote Teaching

Guidance on how to make remote teaching more accessible to those who are deaf or who have hearing loss.

Guidance for optimising remote access for students who are deaf or have a hearing loss

Additions to general advice given to lecturers / presenters


  • Speak in a clear manner, not too fast, and do not exaggerate your lip movements or speak very slowly, as lip reading is based on natural patterns of speech;
  • Clearly signal change of topic;
  • Share any new abbreviated terms before the session;
  • Use a headset microphone when at all possible, not just a laptop microphone. By using a headset microphone, and not relying on your computer microphone, it will help ensure your voice is picked up preferentially over background noise;
  • Minimise background noise (such as shuffling papers etc);
  • Ensure jewellery etc is not catching and creating background noise.

Providing opportunities for students to catch up, if necessary

  • ‘Chunk’ information so that the session is broken up into shorter sections;
  • Provide ongoing summary points in chat boxes or equivalent;
  • Include options for questions and comments to be typed into a chat box;
  • Share the abbreviations that will be used in the session along with any slides twenty four hours in advance of the session.
  • In group sessions:
    • ask contributors to say names when they start to speak;
    • repeat points from students that may have been unclear;
    • ask students to say in chat box if they missed what was said;
    • also encourage students to ask afterwards if this is helpful.

When using Audio/Visual materials

  • We would recommend always using video as well as audio as this enables users to lip-read as well;
  • Use good quality headset microphones if at all possible;
  • Mute the microphone when not talking;
  • Keep facing the camera, so that lip reading is possible, and don’t walk around;
  • Ensure lighting is good (and from the front, not behind) so the picture is really clear – use a plain background where possible;

  •  Avoid moving your hands in front of your face to ensure clear sight of your lips for users who are lip reading.


Students who are deaf or have hearing loss and have registered with the Disability and Learning Support Service may have an adjustment for captions to be provided. However, captions should be added to all audio/video content as a matter of course although we recognise the current difficulties in achieving this.

The terms captioning and subtitling are used interchangeable but captioning refers to subtitles that have additional information for those who are deaf or hard of hearing such as noises off and changes in speakers. Subtitles tend to be used for foreign language films where the user is assumed to be able to hear the content and so does not need to be told of background noises or changes in speaker.

More information on captioning can be found at:

Captioning guidance for staff

Request an alternative format


To request this document in an alternative format, such as large print or on coloured paper, please contact Viki Galt, the Head of Disability Information.

Viki Galt

Head of Disability Information

  • Information Services

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Argyle House
Floor F West
3 Lady Lawson Street

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BSL users can contact me via Contact Scotland BSL , the on-line British Sign Language interpreting service. Find out more on the Contact Scotland BSL website.

Contact Scotland BSL website